The watchman

Given the fact that the Israeli driving test is one of the most difficult in the first-world, it is a known-phenomena that Israelis are not the safest or slowest drivers on the planet. The death-rate caused by accidents is sky-high. Not only do people fall victim to chance-taking drivers, over-tired drivers also kill. 

Although Yehuda Holtzman knew he couldn’t do anything to stop risk-taking and reckless drivers, he nevertheless believed that he could reduce accidents on the road caused by those who are distracted and exhausted. And so he set about to “repair the world.” 

Yehuda has a professional CV that would impress anyone. A whizz at electronic engineering, he knocked up a BA from England and an MA from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. After serving as CEO of various high-tech companies which dealt with innovations and communications, he founded Cipia in 2005. His company uses Artificial Intelligence to reduce road accidents. 

The solution is both brilliant and tiny. It involves a camera which is placed on the dashboard of the car. The camera tracks the exact position and tilt of the driver’s head, along with the direction of their gaze. The camera monitors the driver’s eyelid activity, the duration and rate of every blink, and even how dilated the pupils are. All this information is gathered and an assessment is made within a micro second as to whether the driver is drowsy or distracted.

The camera serves as a sort of traffic cop too. It can actually “spy” on the driver for signs that they are irresponsibly using their mobile phone, or messing around with the seatbelt, or temporarily taking a hand off the wheel. It doesn’t send a report to the police, it assesses this data and alerts the driver with a loud noise that he or she is not focused, preventing in a split second a terrible accident.

While other Hi-Tec companies are also manufacturing similar products, Holtzman’s Cipia is one step ahead because they have developed a device which is substantially cheaper. This means manufacturers are more willing to install the life-saving device. The technology saves lives and is a great success. Several car factories have already installed this in on their production line. 

For Holtzman, it’s always been about saving people’s lives wherever they are. His innovation has been bought by the likes of China, Europe, South America, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. His invention was even adopted by the European Commission, who in July 2022, made the safety technology mandatory in all new cars. 

Over a million people are killed every year throughout the world due to distracted drivers. The little camera has issued millions of alerts to prevent careless deaths and in doing as such, accidents have been halved!

Hotzlman is yet another Jew who using a bit of brains has taken up the Jewish commission of the widest definition of “repairing the world.”